A tactical error in the final stages cost Wong Kam-po a gold medal in the men's 40-kilometre points race at the 10th National Games yesterday. Hong Kong's top rider was leading the next two riders by two and three points before the final sprint, but ended up settling for a disappointing bronze medal. Nevertheless, this was his first track event medal in three attempts at the games. Wong tied with second-placed Xue Mingxing of Heilongjiang with an accumulated 18 points, while champion Zhang Li of Guangdong was two points ahead of both. But Xue got the silver as he finished better than Wong in the final sprint, coming third to Wong's fifth. A dejected Wong did not hide his disappointment after the prize presentation, saying he blew the gold medal because of wrong tactics. 'I stayed too late in the main pack before the final sprint. Although I had a very strong sprint, I was just unable to make up the distance. Had I stayed a bit nearer the front, the entire situation would have been different,' he said. 'But it's too late to say this. After all, a bronze medal is not a bad result as the National Games represent the highest level of competition in China and a top-three finish should not be considered unacceptable.' Hong Kong coach Shen Jinkang said it was a difficult race for his charge and they had to change tactics throughout in order to keep their medal hopes alive. 'We had plans to get points by winning laps which is the most common way to win the race. However, Wong attacked three to four times in the first 20km but it did not work. 'As a result, he had no points halfway into the race, forcing us to change tactics to winning points during the intermediate sprints,' said Shen. Wong did very well after the tactics changed, winning two intermediate sprints to collect 10 points and claimed two second places and one third place. Intermediate sprints occurred every 10 laps. With only one intermediate sprint to go (10 laps), he had become the leader with an accumulated 18 points while Xue was on 16 and Zhang was 15. However, then came his costly miscalculation. Wong did not finish with any medal at the last event in Guangdong four years ago. The medal should also be a strong boost before he defends his two-time individual road race title, starting on Thursday. Hong Kong will be represented by a strong six-member squad, which includes Wong Ngai-ching, Chan Chun-hing, who finished fourth in the mountain bike competition, Wu Kin-sun, Lam Kai-chun and Tang Wang-yip. In the kierin race, youngster Wong Kin-chung failed to reach the final after he lost in the second round and finished outside the top 12. His third loss also ended all track events in cycling for these games. Hong Kong team manager Fred Chan Chun-hung said although Hong Kong only won one bronze medal in the track events, they would not be discouraged and would focus on developing more athletes for it. 'Track events offer the most number of medals in cycling and we have already started a very good junior programme. However, the riders still need more time to be groomed to race at international level,' he said. 'The major problem of developing track events is that we do not have enough competitions in Asia and we need to bring this up with the governing bodies.'